Lucky Charms

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Lucky Charms is a brand of cereal produced by the General Mills food company of Golden Valley, Minnesota, United States. It first appeared in stores in 1964.[1] The cereal consists of two main components: toasted oat-based pieces and multi-colored marshmallow bits (marbits) in various shapes, the latter making up over 25 percent of the cereal's volume.[2] The label features a leprechaun mascot, Lucky, animated in commercials.

Contents

History

Lucky Charms were created in 1962 by John Holahan. General Mills had challenged a team of new product developers to use the available manufacturing capacity from either of General Mills' two principal cereal products — Wheaties or Cheerios — and do something unique to them. Holahan came up with the idea after a visit to the grocery store in which he decided to mix Cheerios with bits of Brach's Circus Peanuts.[3]

An advertising company employed by General Mills and Company suggested marketing the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets.[2] Thus the charms of Lucky Charms were born. The mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun (also known as Sir Charms, and originally called L.C. Leprechaun), was created in 1963, a cartoon character whose voice was supplied by Arthur Anderson until 1992.[4] The oat cereal originally was not sugar coated. After initial sales failed to meet expectations, the oats became sugar coated, and the cereal's success grew. Following the product launch, the General Mills marketing department found that sales performed dramatically better if the composition of the marbits changed periodically.[2] Various other features of the marbits were also modified to maximize their appeal to the cereal's target market, young consumers. In focus groups and market research, more brightly colored charms resulted in better sales than did dull or pastel colors.[2] Holahan called Lucky Charms a "lesson in creative marketing."[5] Currently, General Mills conducts frequent "concept-ideation" studies on Lucky Charms.[2]

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